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Fri, Jan 07, 2000 - Page 2 News List

Court finds beauty parlor king guilty of defamatory remarks

By Irene Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Court yesterday handed down a guilty verdict against the owner of one of Taiwan's leading weight-loss centers, the Best Leading Lady Ltd (3怢?k主?), for defamation against a competing company.

Best Leading Lady chairman Huang Ho-nan (黃河南) was convicted on criminal charges of libel as well as violating the Fair Trade Law, and was sentenced to four months in prison, commutable to a fine of NT$900 for each day of jail time.

The court also ruled that both Huang and his company must each pay an additional fine of NT$500,000.

Huang was not present in court yesterday, but a lawyer representing him said an appeal would be filed.

Huang, who owns the chain business, accused top competitor, Maidenform Taiwan Ltd (媚登峰) in June last year of cheating customers with dishonest commercials.

The advertisements featured two models demonstrating their "magic" successes at losing weight.

Speaking at a press conference last June, Huang said the models had liposuction performed to lose the weight they had claimed was due to dieting.

Furious with the accusation, Maidenform chairman Chuang Ya-ching (2禷?M) filed the lawsuit against Huang and his company, seeking to remedy damage thus caused to her company.

Results of medical tests on the two women subsequently proved no liposuction had been performed.

Medical experts also testified that it was not impossible for the two women to lose an average of between 0.69kg and 1kg per week as had been claimed in the advertisement.

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